Statement from Bishop Robert Gruss regarding the mass shooting at Michigan State University 

Rarely a day goes by where we do not learn throughout the day, go to bed or wake up to the horrific news of another mass shooting in our country.

The most recent happened close to here, at Michigan State University in East Lansing, where many young people from our diocese, state and country are pursuing dreams of higher education. As has happened far too often, this senseless violence has claimed innocent lives, critically injured others and stolen from all a sense of safety and security. 

There is something deeply wrong with a culture in which this type of violence is commonplace. In a letter written to Congress this past June, the United States bishops, who have long advocated for reasonable measures to address the problem of gun violence, made clear there is much work to be done across many areas to address our current crisis: 

There must be dialogue followed by concrete action to bring about a broader social renewal that addresses all aspects of the crisis, including mental health, the state of families, the valuation of life, the influence of entertainment and gaming industries, bullying, and the availability of firearms. 

Please join me in praying today for the entire Michigan State University community, especially all victims and their families who are suffering unimaginable loss as a result of this senseless shooting. We ask the Lord to pour his tender love and mercy into the hearts of those who are mourning as we cling to our belief in his promise of eternal life. May Christ’s peace be upon all affected. 

God of Compassion, 

We stand before you, shaken and in grief. 

Yet again, lives are lost, innocence is stolen, and a sense of security is stripped away with our grief, anger and fear rising above all. 

We bring to you our confusion and shock and growing despair. 

In these actions of hatred, help us to bring your love. 

In these times of helplessness, help us to bring hope. 

In these times of deepening grief and agony, help us bring comfort. 

We pray for those who lost their lives.  We pray for their families and friends. 

We pray for those who have been injured and are, yet now, fighting for their lives. 

We pray for those who have experienced the unthinkable and for their lives moving forward. 

We pray for the communities that have been affected and that join in this unmeasurable grief. 

We pray for the first responders who must endure these tragedies as a part of their lives. 

And finally, Lord, we pray for your peace to become so prevalent, that acts of violence such as these will become unimaginable. 

God of Compassion, hear our prayer!